Teaching Assistant Professor Michelle Bartlett received the Wagner Innovation Award at the 2018 Distance Learning Administration conference in June. Bartlett is the director of the fully online Training and Development Master of Education and graduate certificate program in the College of Education.
According to her colleagues, Bartlett’s leadership, passion and innovative solutions in online education make her most deserving of the award.
When Bartlett began as director in August 2016, she grew enrollments from 27 to more than 111 students in just two years. She partnered with the local chapter of the Association for Talent Development to gain national recognition for the training and development program and aligned the courses with the association’s core competencies
Other innovative solutions to advance the program included connecting with community organizations to provide students with real-world project assignments and networking opportunities that are not usually available in online programs. E-service learning and project-based courses are examples of ways students build their resumes while completing the program.
Bartlett has a passion for creating and maintaining a sense of community among her online students. She has integrated new technologies like FlipGrid for student introductions instead of traditional discussion forums to allow students to interact in real time. She also regularly holds synchronous sessions for new course modules. These innovative uses of technology have allowed students to have deeper discussions about difficult topics and added to the effectiveness of group projects in the online environment.
In addition, Bartlett is intentional about sharing her knowledge with colleagues through workshops, tip sheets and one-on-one mentoring to ensure instructors in her program have the information and skills to build community in their classes.
For part-time faculty, Bartlett created an online professional development program called FaculTea. This brief online program uses Blackboard Collaborate to keep faculty updated on current online trends and help build a sense of connectedness in the program.
The faculty hear a 10-minute tutorial from Bartlett and then have a five-minute discussion on a certain topic. This brief program is a way for Bartlett to share new online teaching tools, policy changes and other administrative tasks that part-time faculty may be unaware of.
Bartlett is a true innovator with a focus on her students’ success as well as instructors in the Training and Development online program. In her three years at NC State, Bartlett has served on more than 20 dissertation committees and chaired eight of the committees as well as serving as the advisor for more than 70 master’s students.